• What are the most Imports and the most exports in Japan?

    05-05-2013by Admin

    Exports: Japan's main export goods are cars, electronic devices and computers. Most important trade partners are China and the USA, followed by South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand and Germany.

    Imports: Japan has a surplus in its export/import balance. The most important import goods are raw materials such as oil, foodstuffs and wood. Major supplier is China, followed by the USA, Australia, Saudia Arabia, South Korea, Indonesia and the United Arab Emirates.

    Industries: Manufacturing, construction, distribution, real estate, services, and communication are Japan's major industries today. Agriculture makes up only about two percent of the GNP. Most important agricultural product is rice. Resources of raw materials are very limited and the mining industry rather small.

  • Doing Business with Japan

    05-05-2013by Admin

    Business Meeting Etiquette

    Casual American-style attire is still uncommon in the Japanese business place. You should dress appropriately for the occasion when meeting your counterparts on business.

    When sitting down to a business meeting with your Asian counterparts, the seating arrangement will be determined by the status of the participants. Do not just sit anywhere; as the guest, you will be directed to the appropriate seat.

    As a general rule, the highest-ranking person from the host side will sit at the head of the table. Then, other people will take their seats starting from the seats closest to him and working to the other end of the table. Those of higher status sit closest to the "head honcho".

    You should stand at your seat and wait for the top guy to tell you to be seated. Then, when the meeting is finished, wait until he has stood up before standing up yourself.

    Non-alcoholic drinks will probably be served at the beginning of the meeting and they will be distributed in the order of descending importance of recipients. You may want to wait for the top guy to drink from his glass before starting on yours.

    Gifts are always appreciated. Consider bringing a small souvenir that represents well your hometown to give to your host. Don't be surprised if your hosts give you something from their country too. If the gift is wrapped, don't open it until you leave. If the gift is not wrapped, make sure to express copious appreciation (whether you like it or not). Ask some questions about the gift to show interest.

    You may want to take notes during the meeting. This will show that you are interested and will be appreciated by your hosts. However, you should make certain never to write anyone's name in red ink (even your own) and so carry a black or blue pen.

    Click here for information about Japanese business cards.

    Social Interaction

    Your hosts may bring up the idea of getting together socially later. This may be a sincere invitation to dinner; it may just be polite banter. Do not be offended if an invitation turns out to have been just talk and don't aggressively bug your counterpart about when you can get together. He may not say "no" directly so you might need to read from his body language what he really wants.

    If you do go out for dinner, keep in mind that "going Dutch" is not normal in Japan. If you're the buyer, you'll likely be in for a free evening of entertainment. If you're the seller... well, if you were a local, you'd probably be picking up the tab. However, it's not quite this simple since your hosts may still insist on paying because you are a visitor in their country. Also, it is normal for the inviting party to pay.

    In all cases, if your host is planning to bear the dinner expenses, make at least a meek attempt to pay. Don't worry... he won't let you. But even your insincere attempt to pick up the tab will have looked good. And, you can offer to pay for his dinner when he visits your home country.

    Japanese are unlikely to invite you into their homes. It is normal for dinner meetings to be held in restaurants. Also, it is common to extend an evening's entertainment by going out to a coffee shop (or a second round of drinking) after the meal. If your host has paid for the meal, you might want to consider being even more pushy about paying for the coffee or drinks. But be careful! In some settings (especially where hostesses are involved), drinks can get very expensive.

    Japanese are liable to ask you questions that make you uncomfortable, such as your age. You don't have to answer, but at least be gracious about it. They are certainly not trying to be offensive; it's just that some questions you would consider rude back home are not necessarily impolite in the country you are visiting.

    Japanese love to drink alcohol with and after dinner. If you don't drink... well, that's a strike against you. You should try to drink. But if drinking is completely out of the question, make up an excuse and be ready to explain it several different ways and times. Your hosts may push you to drink and you should be careful not to get angry.

    If alcohol is served, DO NOT drink from the bottle. You should pour the beverage into a cup or glass provided and then drink. Tipping is not customary in Japan and you don't have to do it.

    When eating with your hosts, try to eat some of everything and look like you are enjoying the food. If there are certain kinds of food you don't like, it would be helpful to alert your hosts to this before they choose the restaurant or the meal. They'll appreciate hearing that you like their food.

  • Export Procedures in Japan

    05-05-2013by Admin

    a. Outline of Export Clearance

    Exporters must declare to the Director-General of Customs the nature of the goods as well as the quantity, price, and any other necessary particulars. An export permit must also be obtained after the necessary physical examination.

    Goods for export must be brought into the Customs(Hozei) area or a specially permitted place for storage. The exporter or his proxy (known as a Customs broker) prepares an export declaration describing the nature, quantity, and value, of the goods to be exported. This declaration is accompanied by invoices and other supporting documents and, if required by Japanese laws and regulations other than the Customs Law (hereinafter referred to as "other laws and regulations "), by other documents, such as permits, approvals, or licenses (e.g., exportation of strategically sensitive materials under the control of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry).

    The submitted export declaration is checked against invoices and other supporting documents at Customs.

    Document checking is conducted when a statistical classification is correctly made according to the Export Statistical Schedule, when the required permission or approval is secured with respect to pertinent goods, and when a correct application for approved excise tax exemption accompanies the goods which are to be exempted. In checking the submitted documents, Customs decides whether the goods have to be physically examined to ascertain the correctness of the classification of goods and to see whether the examinations required by laws and regulations other than the Customs Law have been completed.

    In principle, Customs examinations of goods are conducted at a Customs examination zone in the Customhouse or where the goods are stored in cases where the goods cannnot be brought to the Customs examination zone.

    At the time of export declaration, the exporter is requested to submit two copies of the export report. One is for statistics and the other is kept at Customs for needs such as export certification.

    b. Documents to Be Submitted

    The following documents must be submitted to Customs.

    • - Export Declaration (Customs form C-5010)
    • - Invoice
    • - Other documents: Certifications, permits, or approvals required by other laws and regulations.

    c. Confirmation of Other Laws and Regulations

    The Customs Law is the fundamental law concerning exports. In addition, depending on the type of cargo, there are cases which require a prior permit or approval for export of the cargo before export declaration. These must be issued by the other authorities, such as the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, and the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, in accordance with stipulations in other laws and regulations.

    According to the stipulations of these other laws and regulations, exporters of cargo, who are required to obtain permits, or approvals or pass examinations, must prove to Customs that these requirements have been met during the Customs clearance procedure, which then needs to be confirmed. Unless these requirements are proved and confirmed, Customs will not permit the cargo to be exported (Customs Law, Article 70).

    The purpose of these laws and regulations is to regulate unrestricted and disorderly exports and to assist in the normal development of foreign trade by either prohibiting or restricting the export of certain cargoes. These laws and regulations were enacted to achieve administrative objectives through the confirmation of required permits, approvals, completion of inspection, and other conditions in the physical presence of cargo at Customs as the final check-point.

    There are 15 laws and regulations concerning exports, of which major ones are as follows:

    • (1) Export Trade Control Order
    • (2) Export Exchange Control Order
    • (3) Export-Import Trading Law
    • (4) Law for the Protection of Cultural Properties
    • (5) Forest Seeding Law
    • (6) Law Concerning Wildlife Protection and Hunting
    • (7) Narcotics and Psychotropics Control Law
    • (8) Cannabis Control Law
    • (9) Opium Law
    • (10)Stimulant Drug Control Law
  • Most Imports and Exports in Japan

    05-05-2013by Admin

    Exports - commodities: motor vehicles 13.6%; semiconductors 6.2%; iron and steel products 5.5%; auto parts 4.6%; plastic materials 3.5%; power generating machinery 3.5%

    Exports - partners: China 19.7%, US 15.5%, South Korea 8%, Hong Kong 5.2%, Thailand 4.6% (2011)

    Imports - commodities: petroleum 15.5%; liquid natural gas 5.7%; clothing 3.9%; semiconductors 3.5%; coal 3.5%; audio and visual apparatus 2.7%

    Imports - partners: China 21.5%, US 8.9%, Australia 6.6%, Saudi Arabia 5.9%, UAE 5%, South Korea 4.7% (2011)